Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2014 03:17 PM
Target's new CEO, Brian Cornell, has decided to go back to the future to retool the retailing brand while Home Depot CEO Frank Blake has to hope that he can see something other than Target in the crystal ball for his own brand, as Home Depot deals with a potentially mammoth data breach.
Target suffered a debilitating customer-data breach nearly a year ago, but the brand clearly was having problems before that. The biggest: Former CEO Gregg Steinhafel had allowed Target to drift away from a distinct identity as the au courant mass merchandiser whose chic apparel and homewear designs elevated it above price-first rivals such as Walmart and dollar stores. Steinhafel instead added a greater variety of goods and focused on grocery expansion.
Now, with Steinhafel gone, PepsiCo veteran Cornell is only a month into his job but told the Wall Street Journal that he has one major strategy planned: return to the narrower range of categories where the chain originally made its reputation as "Tarjay," including fashion and furniture, as well as expand fast-growing other segments including organic foods and children's wear.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 05:17 PM
The campaign: Not the only UK beer brand making a statement in America for Independence Day, Guinness tugs at the heartstrings with this commercial released on July 3rd. With few words but plenty of emotion, a bartender places a pint of Guinness on an empty table every night—setting up a story that demands viewers watch to the end. The emotional spot, part of its #MadeOfMore campaign, follows on the brand's acclaimed wheelchairs spot last year and also recalls its Barnes Twins 2014 Winter Olympics video.
The pitch: "The choices we make reveal our true character."
The response: Will Burns, reviewing the spot for Forbes.com, calls it a "near-perfect pour."
Watch the spot, directed by Noam Murro, below.Continue reading...
Posted by Penelope Davis on July 4, 2014 04:36 PM
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, the sale of consumer fireworks could pass $675 million this fireworks season.
Amidst the oohs and ahhs and smiles of the old and young alike are those brilliant bursts of artistic sparkles. Firework names certainly have come a long way from the black cat, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, Roman candles, and the beloved sparklers many of us grew up with.
But as brand and product naming across most industries has shifted to more storytelling and emotional connections, so has the world of fireworks—and firework names.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 03:13 PM
The campaign: In a similar vein to Newcastle Brown Ale's tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl Mega Huge Football campaign with actress Anna Kendrick and former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, this Fourth of July effort aims for the funnybone with two British celebrities—comedian Stephen Merchant and actress Elizabeth Hurley—and American actor Zachary Quinto of Star Trek fame. Web extras look at other ways (names, Mount Rushmore, English muffins, cabs) life might have been different.
The pitch: Newcastle makes the case that America would be better off if it had never split from Mother England in a continuation of last year's Independence Eve campaign: "Imagine how great it could have been. And imagine how much beer we could have sold. IfWeWon.com." Diluting the impact of the social marketing, there are two hashtags: #IfWeWon and #IndependenceEve. A Twitter typo in the latter likely didn't help.
The response: As with any celebrity-based effort, the brand hoped to target fans. Yet the celeb with the biggest social following didn't have the biggest pull.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 12:24 PM
The campaign: Chevrolet is saying "Happy 4G of July" with a series of spots promoting its new line-up of 4G LTE and Wi-Fi enabled vehicles. According to GM's press release, the Chevrolet brand is rolling out the largest deployment of vehicles with built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi in the US this summer, kicking off this Fourth of July weekend. The Connected by OnStar 4G platform, which includes a vehicle health monitor app, debuted at CES in January and will eventually bring LTE connectivity powered by AT&T to all Chevy vehicles.
The pitch: How wireless technology enhances car road trips (in Chevrolet vehicles, in this case, although GM is promoting Wi-Fi across its auto brands) with sharing, knowledge on the go, connectivity and good times: "Bring your friends along for the ride. Chevrolet, the first and only car company to bring 4G LTE Wi-Fi to cars, trucks and crossovers." The hashtag, #TheNewIndependence, extends on the automaker's broader "The New" campaign.
The launch: Timed to Fourth of July festivities across America, where Chevy is sponsoring free wireless web access at Philadelphia's fireworks event, the spots will also run on TV, in cinemas and in GoGo Wi-Fi enabled flights. In addition to spots targeting Hispanic and African American consumers, Chevrolet also will leverage the Guinness International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Real Madrid on August 2 at Michigan Stadium.
Watch the spots below.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 13, 2014 11:34 AM
Father's Day is this Sunday in much of the world, prompting brands to pay tributes to Dad. Outstanding examples include Ford's heartstring-tugging "Great Stories" about dads and cars and Chevrolet's sentimental series by MOFILM filmmakers, a continuing branded content partnership for the automaker. Check out them out below, along with other noteworthy nods to Dad (and yes, Moms are welcome too):Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2013 05:42 PM
Divergent third-quarter sales results from Macy's and Walmart spell two different tales for the retailers. But they also bespeak one America—a consumer public that is really honing in on deals as holiday shopping enters the most crucial period.
Macy's surprised its Wall Street followers with a 22 percent profit surge for the period and same-store sales growth of 3.5 percent, just one quarter after its earnings results missed analysts' expectations for the first time in six years. The chain and analysts credited, in part, good response by management to economic and consumer trends and a determined execution of its strategic blueprint that calls for expansion of the My Macy's localized-merchandise platform and omnichannel retailing, among other things.
But there was no mistaking the main reason for Macy's better-than-expected results: It did a better-than-expected job of appealing to financially strapped middle America with discounts and other promotions.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 12, 2013 05:58 PM
So much for the season of giving. According to the US National Retail Federation, more than half of "holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of nearly $140 on 'self gifts,'" and brands like Roku are hoping that streaming services will be at the top of their list.
Set-top box maker Roku is upping the ante with a $12 million “Now This is TV” holiday ad campaign to keep pace with competitors like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Xbox One, Google's Chromecast and Apple TV. The effort eclipses Roku's entire 2012 marketing budget, but with Netflix and Amazon pushing out original series on top of offering expansive video libraries, Roku hopes the ad effort will bring attention back to its broad content library as a "key differentiator," Ad Age reports.
As popular as Roku's set-top boxes are, there is plenty of competition. Apple has reportedly sold more of its set-top boxes than Roku, and Google's Chromecast offers a pared-down, more affordable version of Roku's services, but it seems consumers still prefer the little black box. In a report from Parks Associates, 37 percent of respondents who had streaming video said they primarily used Roku while only 24 percent said Apple TV was their first choice.Continue reading...